Farewell to long-term patron Lily Safra

Lily Safra

We are very sad to announce the passing of our Patron and long-term supporter, Mrs Lily Safra, who died on 9 July 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mrs Lily Safra was first introduced to our work in 2004 through friends. Since then, she contributed, via the Edmond J Safra Foundation, almost £4m towards transforming the care system in Romania. Most recently, her generous support for our emergency appeal during the COVID pandemic meant that we could continue our life saving work under the toughest of circumstances, and in 2021, Hope and Homes for Children’s Romania Programme was featured in the Edmond J Safra Foundation’s Dignity Book. 

This sustained and significant investment has played a key role in eliminating orphanages – the first step to ensuring children globally can be cared for in safe, supported families. 

Mrs Safra shared her commitment to caring for others with her husband, Mr Edmond J. Safra, one of the twentieth century’s most accomplished bankers and founder of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation. She had chaired this Foundation since 1999, supporting projects related to education, science and medicine, religion, culture, and humanitarian relief in over 40 countries.

In May 2012, Christie’s Geneva hosted an auction of 70 pieces of Safra’s personal jewellery collection. The ‘Jewels for Hope’ sale included 18 pieces by JAR, the largest personal collection designed by the jeweller ever to be sold. The entire profits from the sale were donated to 32 charitable institutions around the world in the fields of healthcare, education, religion and culture, including Hope and Homes for Children.

Like her philanthropy, Mrs. Safra’s life was dynamic and global. She spoke six languages and made her home at different times in seven countries. She was known for her elegance, independence, generosity, and eye for detail.

In recognition of her philanthropic leadership, Mrs Safra was awarded honorary doctorates and fellowships from universities around the world. She was made Chevalier dans l’Ordre de Léopold II by the King of Belgium. She is a Commandeur of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Officier de la Légion d’honneur.

Mrs Safra was a Patron of Hope and Homes for Children from 2010 right up until her death. In addition, she served on the boards of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (USA).

She was also a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother and fully understood the importance of family.

Mrs. Safra regularly said, “It was with Edmond that I learned the joy of giving, as well as that when you support people who are making a real difference in the world, you end up receiving far more than you give.”